Why do you need to take legal advice for a Settlement Agreement?
Settlement agreements (formerly known as Compromise agreements)are becoming an increasingly popular way of resolving workplace issues. They work on the premise that an employee’s contract can be terminated in return for a ‘severance payment’. Should an employee accept the terms of the agreement, he or she will effectively sign away their employment rights. And because it is recognised as a legally binding document, it will subsequently be impossible to bring an employer in front of an Employment Tribunal or pursue a grievance against them.
Settlement agreements do therefore, have a number of benefits. They allow employers to release under-performing or unwanted staff without the threat of litigation. They also allow employees to receive compensation for their removal, and if certain clauses are included in the document, can demand a good job reference is attached to the agreement. This is particularly useful for any employee who has left under a cloud and is worried their reputation may be damaged.
However, for settlement agreements to be valid, certain stipulations must be met. Most notably, the member of staff in question must seek independent legal advice, something which will (in the overwhelming majority of cases) be paid for by their employer.
So if you have been offered a settlement agreement, speak to us. Not only is this a requirement, it is a necessity if you are going to be protected. Indeed, settlement agreements are full of legal jargon and intricate technicalities. We will be able to review the document and explain what implications it has for you, and will also identify any potential pitfalls that could put you in a vulnerable position.
Furthermore, we will suggest whether the amount of severance payment you have been offered is appropriate. If not, we can challenge your employer and negotiate an increase, thereby ensuring you are not short-changed.
If you have been approached with the offer of a settlement agreement and would like to discuss your options with us please call us. Quite often, we can see you at short notice where the matter is time sensitive. We prepare a large number of settlement agreements each month, and we often negotiate better terms for the employee than those initially offered.
For more information please call us on 01926 484488 or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will be delighted to help you (remember there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).